Hernández manages to avoid 'in extremis' discussing his program in front of Petro

Apparently Rodolfo Hernández is not very good at meeting dates.

Hernández manages to avoid 'in extremis' discussing his program in front of Petro

Apparently Rodolfo Hernández is not very good at meeting dates. Just as the country was waiting for his meeting to confront programmatic aspects with the candidate Gustavo Petro, of the left-wing coalition Historical Pact, other people who represent civil society organizations and who, far from the spotlights and microphones, have requested a formal appointment to know in detail their proposals on crucial issues, they have not managed to go beyond the promise that their personal assistant will schedule a meeting.

The truth is that no one thought that the leader of the coalition would meet the date and time limit, six o'clock this Thursday afternoon, despite having set a series of conditions to comply with the sentence of the Superior Court of Bogotá, which ordered him the two candidates hold a meeting to debate, facing the country, their solutions to national challenges.

Faced with such an opportunity that the Court opened, Petro quickly responded in favor of the immediate debate. Then, claiming that his lawyers were analyzing the ruling and "the context requested by the court", that is, that they agree on the how of the debate, Rodolfo Hernández dragged his feet on the matter. However, among Colombians the public debate picked up more speed in the media and between the gallery of detractors or supporters of their cause or that of Petro.

The exit door seemed more elusive every day, with the clock running against Hernandez. In this against the clock, Hernández released a list of conditions on Thursday morning to allow state television and media to take charge of the broadcast and the meeting to take place. He established the headquarters in Bucaramanga, his city, alleging risks to his safety if he moved; he determined 20 discussion points; he asked three well-known journalists to ask the questions, leaving the space open to jointly elect three male journalists who would also be in charge of moderating the meeting; Among the topics, few are programmatic and most are inclined to a confrontation about the development of the dirty campaign that both parties have carried out.

Petro accepted all the conditions, but clarified that the debate should be "without conditions to the press, let them ask what they want." What happened next is still confusing and both parties accuse that the non-performance was the other's fault. The campaign team of the candidate of the Historical Pact went to the offices of the state-owned RTVC, to present the formal request to the Public Media System. But Hernández did not arrive at the meeting or any of the directives of the campaign of the leader of the Anti-Corruption Governors League. Without presenting it jointly, it could not be specified.

However, Rodolfo Hernández argued in his favor that “the other candidate answered the invitation I made him through a public letter stating that ‘I do not set a condition for that debate. None. I put in the hands of the RTVC public media system all the details of the debate (…) See you in Bucaramanga'". And that, by not setting any conditions, Petro "showed that he preferred to ignore the precise judicial mandate," according to a statement posted on social networks.

Who won this debate, and how will their response carry weight with undecided voters, who are crucial in an election that promises to be vote-finish? The engineer from Santander not only refrained from the debate, but during this week prior to the final election, he has avoided interviews in the media, especially in the morning radio programs that have a large audience, which for many strategists means avoiding a wear and possible slip or blunder shortly before the vote, which would have greater recall among voters. Petro, for his part, a skillful speaker, has taken advantage of every space that is opened to him to question his opponent and return to his proposals with the hope that Hernández's absence will give him the Presidency this Sunday.